May 17th, 2009


Something from a friend...

The essence of human experience is to struggle. It is only through struggle that we find cause to mature, to acheive, or to create. Advancement is driven by pain, growth is part of the healing process.

Even the classical conditioning of labratory animals can bear this out. Given rewards over and over again, an animal eventually is jaded by the reward, the conditioning diminishes in effect because there is no return for the act. But pain will ensure a well-embedded behaviour for life.

The human experience is more sophisticated by several degrees of magnitude, but remains in essence the same. A man clings to pain, it alters his perceptions, closes him down, builds walls around him that restrict intimacy ad trust. In the end the pain of lonliness outweighs the pain of experience, and the man must seek to put the experiences in the past and take only what he needs.

What fools is it, then, who seeks Utopia or some Aristotelian "good life" free of pain and suffering? A life ideal for living in comfort and ease in order to leave room for greatness is folly, because greatness comes from the flaws of our life. If we had everything, then we would stand to gain nothing. Heaven as it is formulated by most is the cessation of growth. To want nothing. To withdraw from the world.

Certainly, the Utopian sleeps easily, but life is not for sleeping away.

And that is why humanity will never accomplish it. It is not part of our programme. Utopia would signal the end of worthwhile human pursuit. Every age is full of flaws and struggle because that is one of our greatest needs. The universe is a sine wave of pain and growth. We understand this with every cell of our being and everything we express is flawed in reflection of it. We create strife because it is something we need.

The outrage and fire in the belly necessary to chase perfection sustains us. actualy catchin perfection would mean our annihilation.


Hawaii. Thursday Friday Saturday

Thursday, I went to my "usual" SBC to work in the morning, and then in the afternoon I walked up to "Coffee Talk", which was described as a "Seattle type indy cafe". It was, in fact, such a place, but it's too long of a walk to want to do as a commute. I spent the rest of the afternoon there working. That evening, I hoofed off to a Lafayette Morehouse social meeting. I got lost cutting through the U of H campus, but it was still an adventure. I ended up not going, because Tigris was going to be late, they dont allow latecomers, and I didn't want to go completely solo. So I walked back to where I was staying, and then that evening we headed to downtown Waikiki to listen to one of her friends sing in a club there. We met some good people, and enjoyed some tasty sushi.

Friday, more working at the SBC. It's so much fun to get the demo ready for JavaOne, running software that is brand new and evolving fast, and running it on infrastructure that is still really also brand new and evolving fast. Just cheating and running on EC2 and in Perl would be beside the point. But then, doesn't "demo" usually mean "cheat"? :) After being done working, I walked down to a runner's supply store, and bought a new pair of Tevas. That was one of my packing errors for this trip, is I wore my regular merrils instead of my tevas, and wearing a closed shoe with socks is not all that workable here.

Saturday afternoon, Tigris, Hamlet (Tigris's dog), and one of her friends and myself went out hiking. There are so many places to go hiking here. There should be pictures on my Flickr stream, but for some reason the photo app in my GPhone sometimes holds onto pictures for days/weeks before finally pushing them out. Something to debug sometime...

Saturday evening, I went to a local play party. The local "scene" is pretty small and new, with "old timer" meaning "more than five years", but I met some nice and interesting people there. The extent of my own "play" consisted of dancing myself exhausted, giving a strong hands foot rub, and playing with a rig that someone set up with a pair of suspension cuffs mounted in a frame. I fit my hands in the cuffs, grabbed the grips, and knocked my own feet out from under myself, which helped pull a number of knots out of my back, and then pulling myself back up. Wheee... "hardcore!". :)

Note to self

When my phone says both I missed a call from an unknown number, and that there is a new voicemail, it makes the most sense to check the voicemail first, instead of just calling the number back.

I hate Perl CPAN

Installing my own CPAN Perl module, Net::Amazon::S3::Tools, on a stock FC10 or Ubuntu Jaunty system, is a major PITA, even for me, it's author, due to CPAN dependency Hell.

Perl sucks a little bit more each passing month...